Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 1,180,375), northeastern Italy. It covers 3,029 sq mi (7,845 sq km), and it borders Austria, Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea. Its capital is Trieste. Known in Roman times as the Julian region, it was divided after the barbarian invasions into a coastal part dominated by the Byzantines and an inland zone ruled by the dukes of Friuli and the counts of Gorizia. From the 15th century it was controlled by Austria and Venice, and after 1815 it came under Habsburg rule. Divided after World War II between Yugoslavia and the free territory of Trieste, the region was restored to Italy in 1954. One of Italy's most seismic areas, it suffered a severe earthquake in 1976. It is known for its ham and dairy products. Its larger cities, including Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia, and Trieste, have all experienced considerable industrial development. Trieste is one of Italy's most important ports.
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